Everything’s Bigger in Texas, Including Your Storage Unit
The cost of living in El Paso is not only cheaper than the national average, it’s cheaper than the state average too (and if you’re a native Texan, you know that’s the only average that matters anyway). How cheap is it? Well, if you’re in the market for an apartment, expect to pay about $638 a month for a one bedroom. This means that it’s possible to achieve your grown-up dreams of ditching those roommates and getting your own place or maybe keeping those roommates and getting a bigger place, or one that’s in a desirable location. Things like gas, groceries, going out to eat and shopping for clothes cost less in El Paso too, so assuming you’re not wasting hundreds of dollars on Tex-Mex every month, it’s likely that you’ll have a higher disposable income than most other people who live in urban US cities. And a higher disposable income means you’ll probably buy more stuff. Fortunately, that’s where El Paso’s 93 storage facilities come in. And guess what? Just like everything else in town, renting a storage unit in El Paso is cheaper than it is in most cities. It’s easy to find a smaller unit (5x5 and under) for under $50 and even larger units (think 10x10) are available for under $100, so if you’re a fan of shopping sprees, fancy things and living in a home that’s free from clutter, you might as well swing for the extra space. We’re starting to think that everything is not only bigger in Texas, but cheaper too.
Se Habla Español
Living on the border of Mexico means more than just easy access to delicious tacos. It also means that 82% of the city identifies as Hispanic. At the University of Texas-El Paso, 77% of students identify as Hispanic. Of the 679,024 who make up the El Paso metropolitan area, a large amount are either bilingual or speak Spanish exclusively. In fact, those who speak only English are in the minority. You’ll find that most businesses in town embrace this and are happy to better accommodate Mexican customers by speaking their language. Storage facilities are no exception. If you’re bilingual and would prefer to rent a space at a storage facility with Spanish-speaking employees, or you have a friend or relative who only speaks Spanish and needs storage, don’t forget to filter your results when looking for a facility on StorageFront so that they’re only showing bilingual facilities.
More Than Just Heat
People who aren’t familiar with the desert tend to think that it’s just hot and dry. If you’ve been in El Paso for a while, you know that it’s so much more than that. If you’re new in town, prepare for hot, dry summers but also for thunderstorms that can bring on flash floods. The city sees 9.7 inches of rain a year, most of which occurs during those blistering summer months. Renting an indoor unit is a pretty good way to protect your stuff from the potential of flood damage, but if you prefer to rent an outdoor unit, take the time to stack your items on top of a pallet, folding table or anything that will prevent them from sitting directly on the ground. In the unlikely event that water seeps under the door of your storage unit, you’ll be happy that you took the time to literally rise above it all.
Another weird weather situation to keep in mind are sandstorms caused by high wind speeds that can cause low visibility and obviously, a bunch of sand flying through the air. You don’t want to drive to your storage facility in these conditions and you definitely don’t want to open up your outdoor storage unit during them either, unless you want it to be full of sand.
Lastly, while it’s true that snow is rare, when it happens in El Paso it’s a pretty big deal. If you’re living or renting a storage unit on the eastern side of the city, you’re most likely to be affected by snow due to the elevation. When it happens, businesses often close down (including your storage facility), roads become unsafe and about half a million people who never learned to drive in the snow start to panic. Even if the prospect of a white Christmas has got you anxious to grab that sled out of your storage unit, we suggest avoiding the temptation and staying put.
Who Needs Storage?
If you’re like us, a trip to your storage facility leaves you wondering who all of the other tenants are. No, we’re not being creepy. We’re actually wondering what the large populations in the area have in common and how storage facilities are catering to those populations. In El Paso, there are two huge populations that use storage. There’s the city’s military population, which adds up to about 100,000 people if you count veterans and civilian family members too and there’s the city’s student population which is at least 23,000. While these tenants might lead very different lifestyles, they both use storage in similar ways. Both military and student storage users are typically eligible for 10-15% discounts assuming they’ve got IDs to prove their status. Both populations are typically looking for leases with minimal commitment. Fortunately, most facilities offer month-to-month leases and online bill pay so that moving stuff in and out of a storage unit to accommodate summer break, reassignment or any other life event doesn’t have to be expensive. And while we’re guessing that only one of the two populations we mentioned is interested in storing liquor, both can benefit from a little extra space.